Speaker scores are often arbitrary and challenging to control; however, there are a few way that you can guarantee an increase in your scores overall. In this article, we will outline our favorite tricks to increasing your speaker points.
Speaker scores are one of the more frustratingly random aspects of debate. Some judges score lower than others. Sometimes you get a score you didn’t want because the judge had an ex with your name. There is not much you can do to guarantee perfect speaker scores, but there are certain actions you can take to increase them on average. In this article, we will review a few hacks that increase speaker scores but do not require excessive work.
Fill up your time! Even if the end is slightly nonsensical, judges are very hesitant to give good speaker scores to people who left time on the clock.
Eye contact, as silly as it can feel, really matters to some judges. If this is something you struggle with, memorize a hook and stare into the judge’s soul when you give it. ½ the time they’ll write a note about good eye contact down, and then never care again. Obviously, consistency is better, but this is a pretty easy fix.
For women specifically, judges care too much about appearance. It is sexist and infuriating, but it is something you have to deal with. Studies have shown women are taken more seriously when they wear blazers and the color red. Above all, wear something that makes you confident. If you’re a guy, wear a suit and count your lucky stars that this isn’t something you have to think about too much.
Be nice to the judge! Don’t be insane about it, but basic politeness and some small talk can go a long way. Offering to write the topic on the board is the ultimate power move.
Know one obscure, incredibly informed fact. When you bring it up, you will sound like a nerdy, debate obsessive! This is perfect for getting high scores. It also provides a “halo effect” in which the rest of your more questionable sources seem more convincing.
Say a hook! It can be a quote from a politician on the topic, or even a generic “Side Proposition lost this round when they failed to engage with the world as it actually is.” This is a great moment to get compliments on your eye contact and passion
Before the round begins or shortly after, if it makes organic sense, casually drop your extensive debate experience. Examples include complimenting an outfit. They will instinctively compliment yours. Respond with, “Thanks I’ve worn it to like 10 tournaments this year! I should figure out some new ones.”
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